tv Capital News Today CSPAN June 8, 2012 11:00pm-12:04am EDT
>> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this dictatorship regime is to strengthen the of repression and to bring in the unity to the people that commit these acts. >> let the record reflect that what he said is the policies, policies that he just discovered before of the remittances trouble at ferc acceptance only creates and impunity of the regime allow them to continue their repression actions. >> [speaking spanish]
regard in terms of the visa i find to the united states being an official of this regime that kills and harasses the cuban people a complete and salt to us. now she is out there visiting the united states and i would like to ask could we be a posers to cuba, the leaders of the different organizations and the different initiatives go to the united states and come to the island freely? thank you very much. >> thank you for your testimony. let me how the search for the record that the chair is cognizant of members of the castro regime who are here of those that have been said that
teheran fully intends to monitor the rights of these three individuals and make sure that they're not repressed or face any consequences if they return to their homes, and it will be the committee's singular focus, and we will certainly asked the united states governments through its intersection in cuba to ensure that these individuals to the extent that we have the ability possible that they do not face a reprisal as a result of their testimony here today. with that what we take a few minutes to take advantage of the opportunity to ask some questions. mr. hernandez yesterday before we had a chance to chat coming and i found something very interesting, two things very interesting you said there was a
>> translator: yes, mr. senator menendez. we all know that the cuban government allows what they call up to a peaceful nonviolent passive fight. >> translator: this includes the people that send information from cuba to the world but don't go beyond that. >> [speaking spanish] win the insurance that they have within the island is very small.
>> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this is like an implicit agreement that has existed for years between the dissidents, the peaceful opposition and the castro brothers. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this does not mean these people are not free press, harassed or have serious problems including emotional and psychological stability, and they don't have problems within cuba. >> what happens when -- so those are the people that take the information of repression and tell the rest of the world what is crossing the line, what
basis. >> [speaking spanish] >> [inaudible] >> translator: i find it very moving to hear them the victim of a cuban repression who lives in a permanent state of unrest. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: for those of you that your interest in the cubin current affairs can see the act so take place at her home characterized as state
terrorism. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: she let one of the protests that has been widely mentioned in cuba in the recent years which took place on the stairs of the capitol building in havana. >> so is crossing the red line then meeting gaining public space, gaining recognition for your peacefully activities inside of cuba that is what the regime does not permit, that is what gets you arrested. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: any attempt to gain any kind of public space or activity by the dissidents were the positions to try to get some kind of representation in society, any kind of attempt to do this is what the regime does not allow and that constitutes crossing the red line. >> so to summarize if you are a dissident and what you are doing is sending information about what is happening inside of cuba to the rest of the world coming to our oprah's to but you are not necessarily a arrested. if you are a dissident and political let stand independent journalist and those who seek peaceful movement inside of cuba if you do that internally and promote that internally and create this space in which that is known internally that is what
likely gets you invested. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: at a certain point it is and why do i say that because not everything is on the black-and-white. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: with her leadership she was able to gain a public space and occupy it in a way that has never been done before in cuba. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: the march is that take place every sunday and
fifth avenue in havana are known about nationally and internationally. they got the message out. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this is a message we need to send out to all of the cuban people and civil society organizations. we need to gain these public spaces. this is the only way we can get their recognition we need to get to the change we all need been on the other side of the red line that is not allowed by the government.
>> i want to ask them we have seen a tremendous increase in arrests and detentions in cuba over the last six months. what do you believe is the cause for that crackdown, and second, how can we help you to communicate and spread your message for human rights and freedom inside of cuba? >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: there's been a crackdown on repression over the past six months. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: this repression has become harsher and more violent. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: even more so important to the repression there's been an increasing activism that took place in parallel to this increase and we see it on the streets. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: there's many ways. one is to promote what is going on in cuba and disseminating information all over the world
with >> translator: i am referring to those funds for the cubin board. >> wow. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: and organizations -- [inaudible] >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this is an organization made up of veterans and a political prisoners as they call them that have done some serious work with their peers and families in the years. >> with my thanks jorge normando
antunez we are under very difficult circumstances -- and for once again exhibiting your courage and risking as long understand the potential consequences from being willing to speak your truth, your reality coming or challenges in a simple public forum here in the united states over the satellite hookup with the enormous respect for your commitments to peacefully creating the civil society space inside of cuba. you have the thanks of myself as the chairman and the members of this committee.
insight into the realities of life inside of cuba, to the challenges of cuban citizens to enjoy the very basic fundamental freedom that we observed here in the united states and for that fact most of the western world, and that repression, torture, imprisonment simply for speaking your mind, simply for coming together in common cause to organize is a reality inside of organize is a reality inside of cuba. our witnesses have given the house those that have languished for a decade more than our living witnesses to that reality. all of the romanticism and the world could not erase that reality that they've spoken of
[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good afternoon, everybody. thank you so much for being here. i have the incredible honor of introducing to you the next first lady of the united states, mrs. trent green. [cheers and applause] that before ann takes the microphone, to share a very quick story that will give you an insight into who she is as a
mother come as a wife come as a role model quite frankly to me. we were at an event here today someone asked questions and rather than asking questions, someone asked her if she would mind leading the group to prayer. it is a very natural spur of the moment come incredibly genuine moment. we all prayed for our nation. not pray for us and to win, prayed for the future of our nation or that is exactly what mrs. romney embodies. she is not only the mother of five boys. and the mother of only two boys and i go little crazy, so i don't know how the world to do it. she is a cancer survivor. she is someone who is just incredible -- [applause] she is an incredible woman and we are so, so honored you are here today to share your vision and your husband's vision for
the future. thankthank you very much for beg here. we appreciate it. [laughter] clec thank you, thank you. what a nice room. i can even tell you how i feel when i come to a community like this because all of you are so loving and so gracious and so the static field that. as such a welcoming feeling and i love it. as you know, this is going to be a very important election. this is a very important state and this is a very important county. all of those things are going to be so important. it is important people understand why we are running and will be see as the future for the united states of america and how much we care about making sure that we bring back a strong economic vitality, do we bring back jobs, that we bring
back hope for people struggling. and you know, it was four years ago -- five years ago at the end of the last campaign, after having lost fares where to john mccain i invited the camera to come and record the senate so that mitt is clear how he felt about it. i said i'm never doing this again. [laughter] no way, that's it. he laughed when he sighed and he said you say that after every pregnancy. last night but when it's time to make the decision again, we had a family council the first time. we have days you heard 5 cents, they're all married. by daughters-in-law. we have not 18 grandchildren. some of the grandchildren would love to weigh in on the decision to never let them.
the weather in the first time we had the family council in all five sons and daughters in law said it would be a wonderful experience. you definitely should do it. this time they are like not a single daughter-in-law. they're like no, no, don't do that again. four of the five boys, no, i wouldn't do it. so, it was very end because, as you know, it's a very difficult process and it's tough on families. and we love somebody and they know they're doing the right thing and it's a good person. it's very tough on families. with my eyes wide-open when it came time to give my advice: my advice is this. i said, is it too late to save the country? that is what i needed to know because i'm having a sense a call if you hear, the country is in the wrong direction and we are being really -- were in trouble. it's almost like somethingthat i
took over the waterfall. that was my question. i said, is it too late to fix the country? and mitt said something interesting. he said it's not too late yet, but it kiddingly. said, will that is all i need to know. but it's not too late yet because i'm not going to go through all of this and then you get there, finally on the nothing more we can do. knowing that there is still time, i said there is no question whether we go forward or we don't go forward because it is a two u. just leave the country. so we must go forward. [applause] and knowing man to come and knowing him sowell, which is way really felt deep in my heart he was the one person that could. now i've seen him in you all
know his record. he's an amazing father an amazing husband. i will tell you from a personal standpoint he was my hero. he's the one who stood by me but my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. he was the one who gave me hope, the one who stood by my side is that i don't care how sick you get. i am with you and we are together. we're going to be fine. he's going to do the same thing when i was diagnosed with cancer. same thing. i'm with you. we are okay. we are going to beat this. so those things is a personal site and also as a house in. i was say yes my boys were naughty and there were five of them. it was so confusing now is because i was never quite sure which team anyone was on because it was shifting alliances all the time and it was really hard to keep up with them. and it has prepared me well for this campaign.
let me just put it that way because i don't care how tough the campaign gets. nothing was as tough as raising the site always. cheers to all the mothers in the room. [applause] we all know how hard that work really is and how rewarding it is. so that was mitt's point when i was the mom and staying home as he said that, i know what you're doing is harder than what i'm doing. i also know what you're doing is more lasting than what i am doing and i also know what you're doing is more important than what i'm doing. so i had that kind of support for him and that kind of guy is the kind of guy we want that has that kind of judgment and care for her. so i always say, you never know what decisions will come across the president's desk, see better know what kind of character they have because those will be tough times and tough decisions and you want someone with good care or that will do the right thing at the right time.
so i know that about mitt. my personality point, character point. but then he lifted his experience in of job creation and turning things around. i saw him always just been the most come as though clinton said, stellar businessman. i am so glad we heard that from someone else besides me. [laughter] because he was. in every way, it was stellar. it was amazing how much confidence people putting pen. and you know, he really had something that i think it's unique that we sometimes forget how important it is. and that is good judgment. and the other thing that is hard to forget his knowing sometimes with the right answer is, but not being able to implement that answer. a lot of times they're smart
people there and they can figure out the answer but they don't want to get from point a to point b. that is what mitt is so good at is coalescing people together and making sure that everyone understands where they are going and why they are doing it and how we are going to get there. and that his leadership and that is what he has that is what i have seen throughout his whole career. the other wonderful time for us and the great bonus semi for us was doing that in the winter olympics in salt lake city in 2002. let me just tell you how the whole thing started. i was just diagnosed with tomas. i was completely numb on my right side. i could barely get out of bed. thick as could the, as weak as a kitten. youngest son was a senior in high school, and made no sense whatsoever worse to go do this. and yet, one of those moments where the women because they listen to their heart. i knew in my heart it was the
right thing to do, even though it didn't make sense on paper or anything else. the same with making the decision to run this time. it's like i knew in my heart right to do. and so we went off and did that and it was an extraordinary parents for her family. and that prayer time i went from being very come very sick to regaining my house but not being real strong, but getting that balance, been able to walk and resumes tonight to the d. and get a little of my energy back. and so, it was a wonderful, wonderful experience. i saw mitt began exhibiting qualities and turning something in very bad shape and making it a huge success. and then i saw him as governor of the state of massachusetts. he went into that state with a $3 billion budget deficit when he went in at the end of his four years we did $2 billion rainy day fund. and he did that without raising taxes and without borrowing
money. [applause] when i see the challenges our country faces right now, high unemployment, educational system in need of repair, health care system broken, all of these things i am going, i have a guy for you that knows how to fix a lot of that to. and he knows because he's had the experience and good judgment and character to be able to do the hard thing for the right things for this country. and so it is with 100% confident that i know he is the right man at the right time, that the country is calling and he is an erring and it is his time. and i would like to say in very simple terms, if mitt romney wins, america wins. [applause] so for me, it is clear and it is
clear what we have to do and how important this election is. i'll just close with one thought and that is we all love barbara bush. we always had a first lady speak at a big cat got out and she is one i will always eventually. and she is just as faulty as she was. she is 80 something plus now. she's just a thought poking and frank and she was introducing me in houston at a fundraiser and she said something very interesting when she introduced me. she said, this, ladies, is the most important election of my lifetime. and she says and i am not young. [laughter] nsa thought about that later as i started recognizing, you know, how important she started picking up all the things i just mentioned, it dawned on me that she was the way for the president and the mother of a president and she thinks that this is the most important election of our lifetime and it
is. it is such an important election and that is why we have to make sure that not only all of us in this room who are part, their friend and neighbors and everyone else realizes how important essays. it is a dividing line in the sand. are we going to be more free or have more government involvement in our life? it is really a very clear decision we have to make. so we are going to work hard to get mitt select it and make sure we win and i will have barbara bush trying to convince anyone else that i cannot come in. [laughter] she will do her part, too. thank you also much. i will come around and say hi to more folks. [applause]
>> sorry, guys. folks, we need to get to the car. one more photo and then to the car. [inaudible conversations] [applause] >> the next day, trent revisited mary ann eric. it riding association in ocala, florida. they provide therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical and mental disabilities. ann romney spoke about her disabilities and how it helped her cope with multiple
>> so, let see. can we turn on the loud night? okay. well, thank you all for coming. it looks like there's a lot of visitors here. it looks like we've had an amazing show here and i just want those people that have never asked you this to understand like how magical the sources are and how wonderful it is to have a companion that teaches you such wonderful things and gives you such confidence and strength. i've seen a lot of very amazing stories that appear, where there is a general but it's been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for many, many years has been able to have core strength developed by writing. this wonderful young woman over here has ct and she is doing
well and it's even got close to try and be on the paralympic team. and there is a young man -- where did he go? perry is right they are presented in this program for a number of years and he has overcome all of this disabilities and is doing a great job. congratulations. you're awesome. [applause] sawhorses are amazing. they are amazing teachers. they're amazing companions and they bring us great joy. a lot of these people i spoke with told me that they were able to have the excitement of getting out of bed, of having the joy of coming out here. a lot of them only come out a week and how much fun it was for them to be able to come out and they look forward to this and it gives them -- all of them have increased their core strength on their balance and strength. most of the ms patient that were on have definitely increased
mobility and inner core strength from riding. so this isn't an aging journey for these people. i love these wonderful, sweet companions they teach us so much. they are extremely generous and not being. they are actually mimic what we would do when we are crawling. it is on the walk and trot and it's a very similar experience to what you would do if you are crawling. and so that energy is wonderful and the momentum of having the worst movie makes you really use your core and makes you sit up straighter and all the things that happen. as wonderful great physically and emotionally. when i was suffering and i sick as i was, it was very, very
difficult for me to get out of bed. and for me it was joy to know that i had the chance to get out of get on a horse got me out of bed. and i was pretty weak in the copied string and got me laughing my and they've been a great gift to my life and so i just love coming out here and seeing that they are helping others as well. and this old guy right here -- what's his name? duke? i think duke is falling asleep your. [laughter] you can see how comfortable and how wonderful they are as they get a little older in their lives. a lot of people dominate these horses, but they still know they have a wonderful story and are extraordinary. can see how wonderful this to be for any person to be for a small child or someone who does enough good alan to get on a horse and
feel safe. see, he is going to scratch his nose. but they are terrific. we appreciate all of the work that makes these things possible. it takes a lot of donations at work enough for to make these therapy things happen. they just don't happen without a lot of community support. grateful for all of that grateful for all the teachers that are here and for the people that have donated their horses and probably other volunteers who are volunteering their because they can guarantee you they'll look horses, too. the thank you all. [applause] come on, duke. so i'm
on women's health issues. this is a half-hour. [cheers and applause] >> four more years, four more years, former years! four more years, four more years, four more years amax >> thank you all. my goodness they told me you all were fired at. [cheers and applause] they were right. we're going to get this done. i want to thank you all so much. let me tell you how it drilled im to be here with you all. i am thrilled to see you all. i'll like to start -- [cheers and applause] i want to start by thinking myself first of all for that very kind introduction and for her outstanding work as our women for obama cochair. we have to give her a round of applause. lisa, thank you so much.
i want to thank a couple of other people and recognize state delegate, sub one, lieutenant colonel, john jenkins, christine tian. thank you all for being here today. i also want to give a special name to woodridge supervisor, frank principi and the members and families of vfw post 1583. we are proud and grateful for a veteran and their families and we all should be working very hard to make sure they know they live in a grateful country, right? and finally, i want to thank all of you. i want to thank you for your outstanding work as our volunteers and organizers. thank you so much for everything you do day in and day out.
to make this campaign possible, truly. i want to thank you for doing all the hard work that goes into a campaign. and i can on those stores, making all those phone calls, most importantly registering voters. i want to thank you forgiving people the information they need about the issues they care about. i want you to know truly that the grassroots work that you all are doing to help people get focused and fired up, you know, that work is at the core of everything we do. it is at the core of this campaign. that is how we did it four years ago. and let me tell you, that is how we're going to do it again today. [cheers and applause] and one thing that i do know is the work you are doing is not easy. i know so many of you are putting in long hours and i know how busy you all are just to
take care of your own lives. i know you have families to raise and jobs to do and you guys have summer to enjoy, right? a lot of playing to do and you're here. but i also know that there is a reason why all of us are here today. and it's not just because we all support one extraordinary man. [cheers and applause] our president. and i am his biggest fan. i'm a little biased, but i think our president is phenomenal. [cheers and applause] and it's not just because you want to win an election, but we do and we will, but we are doing this because of the values we believe in. we are doing this because of the vision for this country that we all share. we are doing this because we want our kids, all of our kids
to have good schools. you know what those schools look like. the kinds of schools to push them and inspire them and prepare them for life in the future, does good jobs in this good opportunities. we want our parents and our grandparents to retire with dignity and respect. [cheers and applause] because we believe after a lifetime of hard work they should be able to enjoy their golden years. [cheers and applause] we want to restore the basic middle-class security for families because we believe that you're in america folks shouldn't go bankrupt because they get sick. folks shouldn't lose their home because someone loses a job. not in america. we believe that responsibility should be rewarded, the hard work should pay off.
we believe that everyone should do their fair share and play by the same rules. you know, the thing that we know, these are basic american values. they are the values that so many of us are raised with, including myself. i share my story everywhere you go. my father was a blue-collar city worker. worked for the city water plant and my family lived in a little bitty apartment on the south side of chicago. my mother still goes home there every time she is not with us. my room is the same. same bedsheets, same pictures. everything is saying. i don't know how long she's going to keep the light that, but i'm okay with it. it's her house. but my parents never had the kinds of educational opportunities by my brother and i had. and growing up though, you know, i saw how my parents saved and
sacrificed. you know, it gets quiet here because we all have people in our lives like this, how they poured everything they had into me and my brother. [applause] because they wanted us to have the kinds of education they could only dream of. that is where i came from. i'm a pretty much all of my college tuition came from student loans and grants, can i get an amen? my dad still paid a very small portion to themselves in every semester he was determined to pay that well and pay them on time. you know, he was proud to be sending his kids to college. he couldn't bear the thought of me or my brother missing the registration deadline because his check was late. and because so many people in this country, my father took
great pride in being able to earn a living that allowed him to handle his business, handle his responsibility to his family to pay all of his bills and pay them on time. that is to my father was. that is what america is. and really more than anything else, that is what is at stake in this election. it truly is. it is that fundamental promise that no matter who you are or how you started out, if you work hard, right? you can build a decent life for yourself and an even better life for your kids. [cheers and applause] and what we have to understand here in america, it is that promise that binds us together here in this country. it is what makes us who we are. it is what makes this country so special. and from now until november, iraq needs all of you to get out
there and to tell everyone you know about the values that we share. tell them about our vision. tell them about everything that's at stake in this election. remind them. and you can start by telling them how barack fight for tax cuts for working families and small businesses. because he understands on an economy that's built to last starts with the middle-class and folks who are creating the jobs and putting people back to work and remind them how back when barack first took office, our economy was losing on average 750,000 jobs a month. that is what he inherited. remind them about that. but also let them know for the past 27 straight months we have actually been gaining private-sector jobs, a total of more than 24 jobs is just two
years. let them know. so while we still have a long way to go to rebuild our economy, we have more work to do. today, millions of people are collecting paychecks again. millions of people like my dad are able to handle their business and pay their bills again. and please remind people about how so many folks in washington are telling barack to let the auto industry to wonder, which was more than a million jobs on the line to let it go. but what does your president do? he had the back of the american workers. he put his faith in the american people and as a result -- [cheers and applause] today, the auto industry is back on its feet again. more importantly, people are back to work providing for their families again.
remind them. you know, tell them because of how we pass health reform with all of your support. remind them what that is because of that reform, insurance cup needs will have to cover preventative care. you know, things like contraception, cancer screening, prenatal care at no extra cost, that is what every form means. and you can tell people that for barack, protect and women's health is a mission that has nothing to do with politics. [cheers and applause] it is about ensuring that women have the screen means we need to stay healthy and the care we need when we are sick. and it is about ensuring that women can make basic health decisions for ourselves plain
and simple. you can also tell people that because of health reform, millions of our seniors have saved on average more than $600 million a year on prescription drugs. let them know. i'm also because of reform, our children coming up in the moment can stand the parents insurance until they are 26 years old. we know how that feels, right? and that is how 2.5 million young people in this country are getting the care they need. you can tell barack has been working on education to raise standards in our public schools and make college more affordable for millions of our young people so by the end of this decade, his vision is who will have more americans holding a college degree than any other country in the world.
[cheers and applause] that is his vision. you can also tell people how barack has been fighting for the dream i he believes it is time to stop denying citizenship to responsible young people because of young immigrants. it is time to stop that. you can remind people that iraq kept his promise. he kept his truth from iraq and you can remind them about our brave men and women in uniform and i try to just do the man behind the 9/11 attacks. [cheers and applause] and you can tell them everything about our president and what he is doing to make sure that our veterans and our military
families get the benefits they learned to get the respect they deserve. please remind that our troops know after lie about who they are to get the support they deserve for "don't ask, don't tell." you can also -- you can also tell them that -- this is some good stuff, that it's now easier for women to get equal pay for equal work. [cheers and applause] and that is because of the first film i have been signed into law. doubtless the lilly ledbetter payouts. that was the first thing he did as president of the united states. and barack signed this bill because he knows that closing the pay gap can mean the difference between winning and losing 50, 100, $500 from each
paycheck for having that money in their pocket to buy gas and groceries and put clothes on the backs of their kids. but it's also important for people to know why he did it. he did it because since so many women are now breadwinners and our families, women's success in this economy is the key to family success. we know that. we know that. and finally, don't forget to tell people that your president appointed and now for the first time in history our sons and daughters took her seat on the nation's highest court. i could go on and on and on. we've got four more people who need to get outside. they need some i.c.e. cream or something. but what i want you to
understand and make sure you share as well that all of this, all these wonderful accomplishment are all at stake this november, all on the line it all boils down to one simple question. are we going to continue the change we've begun and all the progress we made are we going to do everything we thought were not just over the last three and half years, but for the last several decades, recalling to methodologist slip away? no, we need to know. we simply cannot afford to turn back now. we have to keep moving forward. keep moving forward! and more than anything else, that is what we're working for, all of us.
that is what it's all about. we are working for the chance to finish what we started. the chance to keep fighting for the values we believe and in the vision that we share. we all share this vision. this is an american vision and that is when they had and has been doing every single day as president. but let me share something with you. i just want to share. over the past three and a half years as first lady i had the chance to understand what being personal looks like. but me tell you what i've learned. i have seen what the issues coming across a president's desk are always the hard ones, always. you know, the problems with no easy solutions. you know, the judgment calls for the stakes are so high and there is no margin for error.
and i have seen that as president, you know, you want to get all kinds of advice and opinions from all kinds of people, but let me tell you at the end of the day when it comes time to make that decision, all you had to guide you are your life experiences. you know, all you had to guide you are your values and that vision you have for this country. and then when that is making this impossible choices, and all boils down to who that person as an what he or she stands for. [cheers and applause] and we all know who barack obama is, don't wait? we all know what barack obama stands for. remind people that barack is the son of a single mother who struggled to put herself through school and pay the bills.
that is who your president is. barack is the grandson of a woman who woke up before dawn every day to catch a bus to her job at the bank. and even though brock smother worked hard to support her family and she was good at her job, like so many women she had a glass ceiling and that no qualified for she would then she'd actually train was promoted up the ladder had it for. so believe me, your president understands what it means when the family struggled. he knows what it means when someone doesn't have a chance to fulfill that struggle. and believe me today as a father he knows what it means to want something better for your kids. those are the experiences that have made them the man in the president is today. so remind people when you're out
there, when it comes time to stand up for american workers and american families, you know what your president is going to do, right? when there is a choice between protecting our rights and our freedom, you know where barack obama stands. when you need a leader to make hard decisions to keep this country moving forward, you know you can count on barack obama because that is what you've been doing every single day. as president of the united states. that is what he's been doing. [cheers and applause] do have to remind people. i will say it again and again and again. barack obama cannot do this alone. that was never the promise. she needs you to keep on doing that hard work, you know, to make those calls. call people, register those
voters. you know those folks who are registered. find them, shake them, get them ready. he needs all of you to multiply yourselves. supply yourselves. he needs you to sign up even more superstar volunteers, more superstar organizers. find them is to reach out to your friends and neighbors and colleagues in your congregation members and their social club members on the other ladies you have to attend the people you walk within the morning and the yoke of people and the people in the grocery store line. convince them to join you in getting just a little piece of their lives each week to their campaign. remind them what's at stake and then for them to barack obama.com. you can take them to the website. so go to find everything they need to get started, sign-up and make make a difference. this election will be closer
than the last one. that we can count on. and if any of you, if any of you who doubts what a difference you can make, i just want to remind you that in the end this election could all come down to those last few thousand people who registered to vote. just think about that. it could all come out to those last few thousand votes we hope it to the polls on november 6. and i waited just think about what those kind of numbers mean when they are spread out over an entire state. you know, it might mean registering just one more person. that is how important it is. just one more person in your community. they might mean just helping one more person get out and vote on election day. one more. sweats you do this work and
wonder if the work in, think of you not from the stores and as you host this event and think about every conversation you have, i want you to remember that this could be the one. you know, treat it like that. this could be the one that makes the difference. that is the kind of impact that each of you could pass. that is why you all are so important. that is why we're going to win in november, because of you. [cheers and applause] but i am not going to kid you. remember this journey is going to be long and it's going to be hard on there will be plenty of twists and turns along the way. but just know that effect change, real change always happens in this country, always. but also remember that if we keep showing up, if we keep
fighting the good fight, doing what we know is right, then eventually we get there. we always have, we always will. maybe not in our lifetime, but maybe in our children's lifetime. you know, maybe in her green children's lifetime. because in the end, that is what this is all about. it's not about us. it's about bad. and let me tell you, that is what i think about every night when i put micros to bed. i think about the world i'm going to leave for them and for all of our children, all of our sons and daughters. i think what i want for them, but my dad did for me, you know? i want to give them that foundation, foundation for their dreams. not to give them opportunities worthy of their promise because all of our children are special.
i want to give them a sense of limitless possibility, right? the belief that here in america there is always something better route there if you're willing to work hard. so if you wonder what keeps me going, you know, if you wonder what gives me and my husband passion, it is that belief. it is that reality. so we can't turn back now. now, we have come so far, but we have so much more work to do. so virginia, let me ask you one last question. are you end? [cheers and applause] now, no, no, our u.n.? [cheers and applause] because i am so in. and so fired up and i look
forward to delivering this message, reminding the country what is at stake, reminding what our president has done and will continue to do and i look forward to being out there with you while every step of the way. i cannot wait to keep it going. thank you all. you keep us going in more ways than one. god less. [cheers and applause] >> four more years, four more years! four more years, four more years, four more years! [inaudible conversations]
>> a senate hearing today looked at the growing civil society in cuba and the cuban government's repression of civil movements. part of the hearing focused on alan groves an american jailed for providing satellite phones to cuba's jewish community. the senate for relations subcommittee hearing is just over two hours. >> good morning. a hearing on the western hemisphere will come to order. first of all, apologies to the secretary and to other witnesses. we have a vote on the floor so just came from that. welcome to our hearing on the path to freedom and repression in supporting civil society in cuba, a title that is more than a mere designation of why we are here, but a statement of what we
must do for the people of cuba and how we can get their. i want to think your panelists for coming today. i look forward to hearing their analysis. i want to add knowledge of a life of judy grocery is here with us today and we are in solidarity with her and her husband and believe that he should never have been incarcerated and that he should in fact be free to come home to his family. in addition to the assistant secretary for the western hemisphere affairs roberta jacobson and former political prisoner normando hernandez will have the privilege of being joined by three individuals who have time and again risked their personal freedom to advocate for basic civil in human rights for their fellow cubans.
this morning they will again simply be because of their willingness to express their opinions at this hearing put their personal freedom at risk by telling the truth about conditions in cuba and providing testimony before this committee through video visual conference and telephone. their participation is so sensitive that we were unable to include their names on the hearing notice and only have this morning following confirmation of their arrival at the u.s. intersection in havana issued a new hearing notice. we are deeply grateful for their courage and commitment to come forward to speak about the realities of life within cuba and their advocacy for the cuban people. they are going to speak to us by phone.
let's take this opportunity to thank the committee and the state department for their assistance in facilitating the technical less effective the hearing in d.c. and in half and and for providing interpretation services as well. let me provide a context for today's hearing. i am encouraged and discouraged by conditions in sight of cuba. i am encouraged by the tremendous growth of civil society and thousands of brave cubans who every day stand their ground despite harassment for the loss of jobs and russians as retribution for their actions and their ultimate in many cases their ultimate freedom. for those that speak their mind despite barbara jury arrest and detention to read it the same time those arrests and detentions this year alone are now more than 2,500, and that
includes 1,150 document to the arrests just in the month of march. a level not seen in cuba since the 1960's. the tremendous increase in repressive actions against the cuban people recognize this week by the u.n. committee against torture reveals the growing level of discontent in cuba and the inability of the regime to grow to control this movement. the growth of civil society in cuba is extraordinary particularly if you consider the constraints faced by activists living on an island to are subject to continuous observation, continuous harassment and frequent detections by cuban security forces and with limited means of communicating among themselves because the island has virtually no free internet capacity and the internal internet is obviously heavily monitored and completely controlled by the regime. it is even more impressive if you consider that the roots of
today's movement begin to form inside cuban prisons only in the late 1980's and early 1990's as a soviet union collapsed in the regime has weakened by the block of soviets subsidization. the cuban committee for human rights fermented the first seeds of civil discontent basing its platform on the universal declaration of human rights. from there the movement grew to 135 crux that made up the umbrella group and declared its, "determination to struggle for an absolutely peaceful and nonviolent transition to a state of law rejecting all hatred, violence or revenge and equally in breezing all cubans everywhere. the regime's efforts to halt the movement block to the plansand s failed. in that moment the regime won the battle but lost the war. the brave actions become legendary on and off the island and their actions in spite others to stand up and face the
regime. across the island a diverse collection of liberation groups and freedom fighters spring to life and included women's groups, human rights groups, association of independent lawyers, artists and librarians. again and again this pattern was repeated when they sought to crush the supporters project. the petition calling for the vote in favor of the freedom of association and expression, freedom of the press, for the elections, the right to operate private business and amnesty for political prisoners and other activists on march 18th 2003, an agent known as black spring. cuba arrested and imprisoned 75 factors at that time in putting normando hernandez with us today and garcia on the phone and a short while exile to spain after serving seven harsh years as a political prisoner in cuba. they served eight years before being provided conditional release in march of 2011.
75 arrests again emboldened the opposition movement leading to the creation of a balance which has become the national symbol for a unified demand for freedom from repression and tyranny. if passed this prologue this current wave of repression will only serve to further embolden the movement and bring others into the cause and eventually lead to the freedom of the cuban people. the purpose of today's hearing is to call attention to the wave of repression taking place inside of cuba and at the same time it is a celebration of the courage of thousands of activists living inside of the island. the thousands who everyday stand against the regime and to every day for the personal freedom of press for the. of of their countrymen and the nation. let me close to the fact that we've distributed to the audience. according to the 2011 state department human rights report, and i quote from the principal human rights abuses in cuba were
the infringement of the right of citizens to change their government, government threats, intimidation mobs come harassment and detentions to prevent citizens from stumbling peacefully, a significant increase a member of short-term detentions in december rose to the highest monthly numbers in 30 years. most human rights abuses or official acts committed at the direction of the government and consequently the perpetrators enjoy in kennedy for their actions. according to freedom house, they are ranked 100 of 190 out of 197 countries in terms of freedom, wife between syria and iran. during the month of march 2012 there were 1,158 documented political arrests by the regime in cuba. according to the commission for human rights this represents the highest monthly number of documented arrests in five decades. cuba has also seen its share of murders on the journey and the
deaths at the prison hunger strikes and that one after repeating by security officials. among the most recent detainees was arrested in march 2nd on charges of public disorder and actions against the norm in the development of a minor. alvarez alphonso arrested in mid march during the wave of requests to the caress to pope benedict xv. as he stepped of his home in hopes of traveling to attend the mass this marked the end of as the patriotic view a list of april 1st prosecutors are seeking new two year prison sentence against him. danny lopez was sentenced to months in prison after he was
arrested in february for wearing a shirt denouncing the castro regime for the death of political prisoners and ten political prisoners are currently on hunger strike in prison demanding to buffalo international standards for prisons carry a [inaudible [speg spanish] their courage, their sacrifice the could never forget in our dealings with a dictatorial repressive regime that has ruled cuba with an iron hand since the middle of the last century. still to a 23 years after the fall of the berlin wall cuba
remains trapped in a closed society cut off from the engines of the world, repressed, threatened, fearful of doing something the will and given prison often for years so we urge every american to remember all victims of fidel castro and his brother raul just as we remember all of those of the world who've suffered and died under the iron fist of under to the other dictatorships. in iran under the ayatollahs and in iraq under saddam hussein, under molosovich in bosnia and the brutal genocide in darfur. as i've said many times before the cuban people are no less deserving of america's support into the millions in prison and forgotten in gulags lost their families left to die for nothing more than a single to the casino%. i'm compelled to ask as i have before why is there such an obvious double standard when it comes to cuba?
wiota gulags so different from the gulags of the old soviet union? why are we willing to tighten sanctions against iran but loosen them when it comes to an equally repressive regime inside of kuwait? when it comes to cuba why are we willing to throw up our hands and say it's time to forget? it is not time to forget. we can't forget those that suffered and died at the hands of dictators, not in iran or cuba or anywhere it is clear the repression continues unabated, notwithstanding all of the calls to ease the travel restrictions and sanctions, not withstanding millions of visitors from across the globe, not withstanding greater resources that the regime has now in terms of currency and notwithstanding the calls to step back and let bygones be bygones that hasn't stopped the repression. the repression, the imprisonment of the beatings, the torture still continues.
in good conscience life for one cannot do that and i will not step back for that as long as we have a voice in the united states senate it will be for the freedom of the people. but let me recognize the distinguished ranking member of the committee. >> thank you mr. chairman. first of all, secretary gib jacobson think you for being here. in the interest of time i will limit my remarks and second i doubt i could do more than you already done and i echo every word you said i just want to add a few things. i think the hearing is also important because it allows us to illustrate what's happening just 90 miles from our shores. i think for many americans as we look around the world we think the totalitarianism dictatorship abuses, human rights abuses something that happened somewhere else that happens in our very own hemisphere literally within 90 miles from the shores of this country they have been in cuba and happen to
be happening now along time. but exists in cuba isn't some cold war relic of interest. it's in fact three things come first of all its and extremely impressive regime as oppressive as any other regime in the world. a manipulative regime deliberately divide families against each other and it deliberately manipulate people who travel to the island of cuba and manipulate u.s. policy towards cuba for their in advantage of it is a one-way street even our best intentions are manipulated come families are divided by the cuban government where they know they can allow the family to come here so they can send remittances back to the island to their relatives in a cynical effort to divide not just the cuban people but the cuban families and the one thing we can't forget that despite the oppressiveness and minnick to the fitness and evil that exists there also happens to be an economically incompetent one they're very good at repressing people and good at keeping people in jail on the island with a are not good at is
running the country. they're literally incompetent leaders they have no idea how to run an economy and create the conditions for job creation, and that alone is the reason the cuban people suffer economically because the leaders do not know what they are doing. the everything i renzi is our goal here in the united states and people who care about human rights is the people of cuba have freedom to choose any economic model they want the freedom to choose their leaders said they can have any economic model if they want. that's not for us to say. what is to stand for is democracy and the right of the people to determine their own future. that is what we stand for. in the united states with a rare exception there's no debate on the topic. but there's debate about is the tactics on which we accomplish. i've been on record in the past that's question that this administration not because i question the motives or the
intention because i think that the tactics of this administration has pursued are minute the notion that by flooding cuba with people to people contact we are going to change the cuban government is my heat. it manipulates the policy towards cuba to their good vantage. i don't think affect their doing this out. what i found even among my colleagues in the senate who fly to cuba or trouble with the notion they are going to set things straight, they are going to be the ones to get things going and talk sense into these folks and most return scratching and shaking their heads because they've become face-to-face with rahman putative and manipulating people in the circumstances this regime has become. one of the of the things we will be able to talk about our new tactics one of the things i would love to see and talk to the german is figuring out a way to get the people of cuba access to the internet, free and clear
of interference from the government because i believe a malae arch if the people had access needed for each of the ron facebook and trevor and they are free to choose any news they want to access to really do not believe the castro regime could survive for long so our hope will explore options to do that. i close my statement with a message to the people who work for the government in cuba particularly those that like to watch these hearings. they may even have people in the audience so let me give you a message to take back if you were involved in meeting people in the jailing people if the government is using you here in the united states or the intersection or cuba and abusing human rights your name is being reported and you are part of a government that is not sustainable. the government to work for cannot survive. fidel castro is have we gone and his brother will be gone, too and when they are on the system of committed place in cuba
cannot survive, but your name is going to be recorded, and you will be brought before justice. if you are a police officer, if you are a military official than to but involved in human rights abuses, your name is being written down and you will have to answer for those crimes before the cubin court ordered the international you did about that before you cooperate with of the things happening to the folks we are hearing about today because your part of a system that cannot survive and long after they are done you were going to be left behind picking up the pieces of what you're doing right now. i hope the message gets there. i will be happy to deliver in spanish. >> thank you. let me recognize assistant secretary roberta jacobs and who served as principal assistant secretary for the washington hemisphere affairs. the senior coordinator first security initiatives in the western hemisphere and the
deputy assistant secretary for canada, mexico issues in the bureau and deputy chief in the u.s. embassy from 2000 to 2002. she has a long distinguished record in the western hemisphere and we're pleased to have her with us today. i would ask you to summarize your testimony in of five minutes. you're full statement will be entered into the record and we're pleased to have you and i acknowledge you. >> thank you mr. chairman. churn eminem does, ranking member rubio, i am delighted for the opportunity to be today and i appreciate the subcommittee's engagement in the western hemisphere and your commitment to shared space values, human rights and expanding economic and social opportunities in the americas. most countries in the western hemisphere we see government working to provide greater political and economic opportunity for citizens but they're remain exceptions. that is why supporting human rights, space governments and greater prosperity remains a fundamental u.s. objective throughout the hemisphere but
especially in cuba. in cuba the obama had been attrition pretty is to empower them to freely determine their own future. the most effective tool we have for doing that is building connections between the cuban and american people in order to give them the support and the tools they need to move forward independent of the government. u.s. citizens engaging in the well-defined purposeful trouble are the best investors for the space ideals. they've sent remittances and truffle to the islands since we ease the way for them in the administration or a central part of the strategy to ensure that cubans have these opportunities. our policy recognizes the importance of engaging with pro-democracy and human rights activists some of whom you will speak to today who've been working for years to expand the political and civil rights of all cubans. programs provide humanitarian assistance to political prisoners and their families for the documentation of human rights abuses and promote the free flow of information to come
from and within the island. last year secretary clinton recognized cubin water with the 2011 international woman of courage award and the state department's 2011 human rights defenders aboard. in 2010 and 2011 the cuban government with support from the spanish government released dozens of political prisoners must on the condition of exile in spain we welcome the release of these political prisoners including the last of the 75 piece of activists who were unjustly arrested during the black spring of 2003. unfortunately the relief did not affect the fundamental change in the cuban government's poor record on human rights. the government has continued to punish political dissent increasingly using repeated short term or british citizens from assembling peacefully and freely expressing their opinion and it continues to limit fundamental freedoms to its continued to threaten and harass
offenders including mr. blanco and that is why we will continue to support an independent civil society and the right of the cuban people to determine their own future for both government policy and the petition of non-governmental engagement. despite the cuban government in tolerance of political dissent, faith based organizations have gained more latitude to conduct religious outreach and provide vital social services to marginalize cubans. the administration has taken steps to support religious groups in cuba by authorizing u.s. religious organizations sponsor religious travel and lodging unlimited remittances to support religious activities in cuba against this backdrop we highlighted the case of alan gross who has been unjustly imprisoned since december of 2009 and by too would like to agree to judy of this hearing we will continue to seek the relief of the dedicated development worker and loving father, husband and son. enhancing access to communication technology will
facilitate the process of political change to read our intersection provides free internet access to human rights activists and other teaching basic information skills and providing training to independent journalists to read to cuba and other governments across the hemisphere are message must be clear, nonviolent dissent is not criminal behavior. opposition to the government is not criminal behavior. exercise free speech is not criminal behavior to read to the contrary it is a right that must be defended for freedom of expression in some countries in the region we've seen new tactics used by governments and other actors determined to silence those who challenge them including threats and violence against journalists and government regulations and the silencing critics wherever it occurs in our hemisphere me to come from these measures to limit freedom of expression. in closing let me emphasize we will be the first when a democratically chosen government in cuba resumes its full part as
a patient and the inter-american system. this semester has been a trailblazer in enshrining the principles and its national regional institutions to the shared benefit of the people at the americas. these principles remain critically relevant in the hemisphere to its challenges and its future as we underscore the most recent general assembly in bolivia. we look forward to continuing to work with you to promote greater freedom and prosperity in cuba and throughout the hemisphere. thank you very much mr. chairman. >> thank you madame secretary. but the start off in trying to understand which i find very difficult to understand some of the administration views as it relates to strengthening civil society inside of cuba, strengthening the information flow senator rubio talked about and the policies that we adopt.
i am outraged with the department's decision to authorize the visa for the stream of cuban regime officials to visit the united states with the director for north american affairs whose husband was ultimately kicked out of the u.n. mission in new york. most recently the approval of the visa for cuban dictator to attend the what american studies association conference. i do not understand when the castro regime holds an american hostage for over two and a half years and when we've described the highest monthly number of documented arrest in five decades we permit that our messaging is that we permit her to be pervading around the
united states on a publicity tour largely declaring herself a vigilante, i don't know of what. the reality is i want to know under what authority does the other communist party official issue visas to enter the united states. does the department exercise its waiver authority under the executive order 5377 to issue these visas, and how do you justify giving them when you've had this incredible repression inside of to buy and american citizen languished for two and a half years for nothing more than helping the jewish community try to be able to communicate with each other. >> thank you mr. chairman. i want to start by saying no one has been certainly more out reached at the detention and its continued detention. we will continue to do everything we can party that she
is home with his family as he should be now with his mother and his family. >> everything we can would include sending the regime a message when you can't keep an american in prison and have all of your people parading. that is an oxymoron. >> senator, under the regulations for the visa coming and we look at every time that we have the applications from any citizen the certainly the cuban citizens, we look at the full range of national security policy, immigration, the law and regulation including reviewing obviously proclamation 5377. in the cases those cases did not fall under the exception requirement of the proclamation 5377 as the was effectively implemented since 1999
undersecretary albright, and so those cubans were allowed to come to the united states to speak openly because in our country they are able to do so despite might not agree at all with the statements and to speak as the latin american studies association. in the case she had originally applied for that visa to do work with the intersection here in washington. we obviously apply for them to go to havana to work with our own intersection, and we felt that it was appropriate to allow her to come in to this country and work with the intersection here under that principal of reciprocity recognizing that we want to be able to meet with and talk to a wide range of people in cuba that we possibly can and
recognize the cuban government doesn't always allow us that. >> but the reality is our you suggesting that castro is not a communist party official clacks estimate i'm not suggesting that she may not be a member of the communist party, but as the proclamation was interpreted and narrow in 1999, she was not a senior party official. >> the united states denies visas to all types of people all across the world today has broad jurisdiction in doing so. you exercise your discretion in giving a visa to these individuals whose american languishing in jail. you've had the authority to say no. you talk about reciprocity every time i talk to the head of the intersection of reciprocity is
in ultimately observed inside of cuba. they are restricted in their trouble inside of cuba and other actions inside of cuba so what we are doing is giving a one-way street and sending a totally wrong message. those that fight for freedom inside of cuba each and every day languish and yet those that will press them get to come to the united states and do their propaganda. i and assumed the duties of the freedom, but there's also a public policy decision to say i guess we would allow serious dictatorship to come and express their views. we expelled their diplomats from the united states we make choices all the time in terms of promoting the national interest and security of the united states and the interest has to
be to see the democracy inside cuba not to those that come to the united states to promote their propaganda. let me turn to another set of circumstances that i don't understand policy lies which is the whole people to people travel to cuba. since the administration is restrictions on troubles and remittances and april of 2009, the regime has doubled its hard-currency reserves and foreign banks. the bank for international settlements reported banks in 43 countries held $5.76 billion in the cubin deposits as of march in 2011. those are the dates we have figures for compared with 2.4 billion at the close of 2009 and 2.8 billion at the close of 2008. so it's very clear there's nothing else that's changed in sight of the island in terms of revenue source. it's very clear that we are in
essentially bankrolling the regime and stashing it's hard currency abroad. i look at that and say to myself look at the travel. in the time that we have permitted this truffle we are seeing visit to hemingway's marina, performance since and my all-time favorite part of inside the que bus trip of the opportunity in santa clara to visit the monreal or the cuban revolutionary was laid to rest where you meet with a history and to ultimately understand his legacy. this is an important way to promote democracy and human rights and that the same time
dramatically increase the ability to have resources to oprah's its people as we see the highest amount of repression has been said from within those in cuba in five decades. tell me how that policy is working. >> senator, there are of the reasons to ascertain. >> you don't dispute the. but there's also been increases until fairly recently in prices for nickel and recovery from the 2008 hurricanes in florida. they're also been increasing industrialization and increasing numbers of countries and firms that have required.
they are committed in the regulations were promulgated. as the mchugh created regulations that permit and uses rhode arroyo fleet. there are things happening in the introduction of between americans' religious organizations, humanitarian groups, human rights outreach that are occurring under the program. roel play the negatives, but certainly as i stated in my opening statement, we do not in any way condone or tolerate the increased detention and harassment of cubans inside -- >> it's hard to understand how
you have a dramatic increase. the one fundamental thing that has changed is that there's an unlimited flow of remittances and all of these tours to the memorial and things where you don't interact with average cubans come you don't engage john runge tyumen's to rid of authority of abuse is long because you creative license dillinger anyone can go and you have no reporting of troy turney and the engagement, so a cuban cigar made by those who are not free. given of the regime one for its.
these benefits has fallen dramatically increased the number of arrests, not to decrease it, have agreed and more civil society. i don't know how many, how many americans have to languish in jail before we send a totally different message to the regime. before we leave the topic because you touched upon a point about how we deny them. just to see where this doesn't make any sense to me there may be a decade and a half ago the united states in cooperation with the command of hundred us conducted an operation to capture a gentleman response of for the murder of an agent.
invited the that the united states and honduras she was indicted in an operation conducted by the united states in conjunction with the government. sadly his grandchildren, his daughter was murdered about four months ago and has three grandchildren who have applied for a tourist visa to enter the united states and visit their grandfather and were quite frankly treated rudely as to the consulate and the weisel was denied the dodgers paid him to the streets for the united states america and i hope i will be reconsidered. it's not the topic of this hearing and i know you didn't make that decision, but my point is cut i don't get it. i don't understand how three orphan children that were to visit their grandfather in the united states or some now deemed were denied a visa. but the same government that denied them but visa gave one to mary ella so she could come to the united states and justify
the fact that they're holding an american hostage to come to the united states and call dissidence despicable parasites. people all they want basically is to have freedom and self-determination, so i hope we can have a further conversation about the process. i want to touch on to other things we talked about the internet and i saw in this debate to talk about free internet access. that's a good thing. and i talked to senator menendez about this. an interest in the possibility and i would like to work with you in this department. the possibility of providing internet access through satellite into cuba. there are existing satellites now that deem signals throughout the world. if you have a receiver right now you could receive satellite signals from any number of satellites that are out there now. obviously you have to be able to pay for the subscription service if somehow we could figure out a way for the government to foot with a this through our broadcast efforts or otherwise
we could provide a vehicle for the people of cuba would have to have access to the computer equipment that would allow them to access internet through the satellite, but it is technologically feasible for the united states to be involved in sponsoring internet access for 13 million people on the island of cuba, which i think of the people in cuba had an opportunity to go all one we can see it in the offside world but facebook, somehow the dissidents in cuba were able to quickly post on youtube didier is about the abuses that happening yet more importantly they were able to talk to one another and have access to the hillside world. that is an of the single greatest contributions to make to the advancement of freedom and democracy and i hope we can work with your office to put something like this together which i think would be a very cost-effective way to further the cause of freedom and liberty of the last thing i hope the
state will consider is and again some by which we can create if it doesn't exist already, and maybe it does come a registry where dissidents and resistance and others on the island can register the names of human rights abusers so that the world can know their names, so they can be held to justice even when the day comes. these are people that are part of these flash mobs on the street, these are people that we're uniforms but are fugs and they beat people and torture people and their fully cooperating with the government and its endeavors. their names seem to be recorded and we need to know who they are. some folks here wind up in the united states and years later they change their mind and decide we don't like what's going on in cuba than they are walking in miami around the streets. i would like to know their names as well. i hope we will continue
sponsoring a registry where we can publicize the names of these folks and what they are conducting services for the record when the tax comes. whether in the intersection or in our assistance program there are some reports say well over double the number of cell phones in cuba now than there were just a few to cade kung fu number of years ago when this is encouraging. >> one last question or to last sets of questions. one is on that note.
the actions were taken and guarantees were told basically to communicate with each other about what is happening inside of the country. so my question is on a year using the we support that, and i certainly am very interested in senator rubio's idea and would love to see us, you know, possibly fund such an initiative. the question is. this is exactly what the regime wants. >> senator, i don't think we have to really think what we've tried to do, clearly the regime is trying to send a message
about the ability to get. we do them as safely for the participants and as effectively as we possibly can. that is the intention of our conversations and our review of all of our grant programs. our broadcasting by either jamming or by policies of the regime to stop in essence the very essence of what we are trying to do well in the program
and about how they are not necessarily accomplishing what we want. finally, i heard you refer to mr. gross before. i want to know what is the present status, and obviously he is in jail, the question is in the state department. >> certainly they haven't responded to any of our treaties, demands, requests that he would be allowed to come home with his family. with any acceptable response. there's been no response from the cuban government in our conversations either with them
you go through your presentation to pause at times to give the interpreter an opportunity to interpret so that the rest of the committee and the transcript that is being developed will have its english version and while senator rubio and i am fully understand what you're saying, we need for the rest of the committee of the rest of the audience and members who have staff here to understand what you're saying as well so take a little bit of time but we look forward to your testimony and we thank you for your willingness to come forward. with that, mr. hernandez, we are going to start with you. if you can summarize your testimony around five minutes or so we will be a little flexible here. we don't always get these opportunities. and then all of your testimony will be included in the record. with that. >> [speaking spanish]
>> members of the subcommittee, good morning. thank you so much for inviting me to testify. my name is normando hernandez, and i am an ex prisoner from cuba, member of 75. in the topic of this hearing i did nothing but rejoice to show the world the cubans are not alone on the road to freedom. to be against the totalitarian
creation of the group for human rights have advocated for their human rights and announce a flagrant violation on the island. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: and the profound economic and social crisis of the fall of the berlin wall in cuba made cubans form independent from the government to express their frustrations in search for alternatives to their problems. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: so hundred
since of ideological streams began to emerge across the island. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: to give you an idea of the growth of the civil society in 2003 the institute of independent economists have or than 29,000 citizens as members and supporters of 450 organizations. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: when year before the christian liberation movement gave this stroh -- -- before the national q been assembly a petition signed by 11,000 citizens for referendum on political social, and economic rights. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this growth of cuban civil society has occurred with the
significant increase of repression of government authorities. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: perhaps the one emblematic case was from 2003 where 75 activist and civil society leaders including myself arrested and convicted in summary trials subjected to on just prison sentences. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: this
crackdown was intended to eliminate the movement and instill fear in the population but only served as a call to search for freedom with the independent bloggers movement. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: today cuban civil society faces growth ever more conscious citizens have in amiable writes that the state must respect. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: repression of civil society active this increase everyday. >>
[speaking spanish] >> translator: the cuban government uses tactics could be considered state terrorism. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: and d'amato of a per oppression with a arbitrated tensions without a court order or small period the time as a mechanism of harassment and intimidation such as the detainee's and family members to prevent them from exercising their and inalienable rights to freedom of expression and association and assembly.
cruelest faces of the repression is the faces of the castro brothers against the ladies in white. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: in the same way rapid response brigades, a paramilitary forces physically beat any independent peaceful individual that tries to organize civil society activities. >> [speaking spanish] >> -- . >> translator: that is in response to their actions. >> iowa speaking spanish. >> translator: the castro brothers do not have limits
to their cruelty. >> [speaking spanish] their murderous nature led them to execute thousands of people at the beginning of the revolution and today they kill and a more subtle way. >> [speaking spanish] we must not forget to the debt under very strange circumstances of the ladies in white and october 2011. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: also we cannot forget the hunger
strike of political prisoners since degrade 2010 denied water 18 days and another january 2012 was tortured by being placed in imported of dark, damp, putrid sell. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: one peace activist died two days after the revolutionary national police agents believe beaded him june 2011. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: in a recent report in the united nations committee against torture criticize the repudiation, lack of the independence between the executive, legislative, judi cial branches. this under police custody under alfredo and required investigations into the death inky been jails between 2010 and 2011. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: extermination against those who dissent the castro's is the policy of the state. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: a true cubans civil society as will a obstacles. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: violations of the fundamental rights is enshrined in the constitution of the republic of cuba. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: the penal code includes articles with
ambiguous provisions which are used to prosecute civil society activist deemed by the government as dangerous. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: that this date international estimates there 5,000 prisoners in cuba serving sentences between one and four years allege being social the dangerous serving those sentences against those whose crimes have been proven. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: in addition lot number 88 protection of
national independence and the economy of cuba is an aberration that the government curtails the end and the double rights of citizens. this lot is internationally known as a censorship law. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: i hope you realize this legal framework slashes the civil, civil, political, economic, cultural rights of the cuban people. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: we can be ironic to say we do not
violate human rights simply because human-rights do not exist. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: the regime of the castro brothers tonight's -- denies there right to fight. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: in spite of this cuban civil society advocates for the freedom of all cubans based on the precepts of nonviolent struggles from ghandi and dr. martin luther king, jr. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: from civil
society we see an increasing number aimed at improving the quality of life. concrete events from public demands for the cover rent to suspect human-rights and democratic values. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: in the fight for democracy cuban civil society always advocated for national dialogue based on the respect of all human civil and political rights to achieve a fully democratic cuba. >> [speaking spanish]
>> translator: to conclude i would ask the committee to put in the title of the hearing. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: please show solidarity with the growing cuban civil society and condemn all levels of repression that take place in cuba. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: i encourage you to seek other democratic governments and parliamentarians from around the world institutions, to
support the troops cuba. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: in this sense please take into account the nobel peace prize winner and holocaust survivor when you take sides centrality helps the oppressor. never the victim. action is the only read the date -- remedied two inaction. >> [speaking spanish] >> translator: thank you
very much. >> keep up with english. it was going good in the beginning. winnow have the spokesperson for the national civic resistance we will hear from her first plan from the next guest has been a political activist inside cuba and has served in side cuba is jails. we have to do the same thing. we need to translate so please stop in certain blocks. >> this is senator mendez.